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Goldenrod or Solidago health benefits and therapeutic value


A flower plant also called “Solidago“, goldenrod grows along riversides, peat bogs, atop mountains, in forests, in sandy fields, on seaside coastal land, alongside roads and even in forest underbrush.

Spreading across the European and North American continents, over 125 species have been accounted for, compiled over the last 250 years.

Although the parent plants were native to Asia and North America, goldenrod progressively adapted to its new environments, for example wastelands, large open spaces and North American rolling hills.

A perennial herb, goldenrod rises to between 28 and 40 inches (70 to 100 cm) tall. Its floral scapes bear yellow fronds and branch out. As for its leaves, their edges are saw-toothed and its rhizome-like stem is a purplish red color. Its fruits are of a yellowish color and atop each is perched a hairy pappus.

In Europe, dry underbrush and forest clearings is where this flower typically blooms towards the end of summer.
Used for centuries across different civilizations, goldenrod was prescribed to treat several different types of ailments. Which ones? Why? And how?

The following lines will address these topics in short order, relating the plant benefits and therapeutic properties of Solidago as well as the relevant dosages for each indicated ailment.

Goldenrod, Solidago, a short story

Goldenrod curative properties as regards colds and pulmonary disorders were first discovered during the Middle Ages in Europe.

Interestingly, although they lived in a geographical environment that was half a planet away, the American Indians also had identified this perennial plant’s therapeutic properties, since they used it to treat insect bites, lower fever, treat chest pain, sore throat and even toothache.

Today, Solidago therapeutic benefits are even used to reinforce the renal system and treat certain urinary tract infections.

Several main goldenrod varieties exist and are sought after by medical practitioners like Solidago gigantea, Solidago canadensis (or Canadian goldenrod), Solidago virgaurea.

Goldenrod, solidago health benefits and therapeutic properties

Etymologically, the scientific name of Solidago comes from latin words that mean “I make whole” or “I reinforce”, a reference to its wound-healing properties.

Herbalists use the leaves, flowers and stem of this plant that belong to the Asteraceae family.

Indeed, this plant, which has a taste reminiscent of buckwheat and clover honey, includes active compounds that are:

– saponin that has foaming properties and which has a positive impact on the porosity of cellular membranes. It imparts to goldenrod its expectorant and antifungal activity.

– essential oil,

– diterpene compounds which are known anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents,

– phenolic acid which has antioxidant properties that prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, cancers and disorders related to ageing,

– tannin compounds, natural substances that improve protein production,

– 1 to 2% vitamin P type flavonoids which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This substance is particularly often used in Germany to treat varicose veins.

More important still, goldenrod must be remembered for its diuretic properties that support renal disease treatment by regulating kidney functions.

In the following cases, Solidago is used

– preventive action against pulmonary disorders, mycosis (due to fungus that cause vaginal infections), gastrointestinal disorders,

– curative action to speed wound healing thanks to its astringent properties.

Today, goldenrod attributes cover a range of properties: diaphoretic, expectorant, stimulating, appetite-enhancing, carminative and tonic, this plant is even recommended in case of nausea, diarrhea, enteritis, biliary diseases, kidney disorders (nephritis, oliguria, kidney stone, albuminuria, cystitis, colibacillosis) and enterocolitis.

Usage and dosages for goldenrod, solidago

Generally speaking, Solidago is used under syrup and infusion form.

  • To prepare syrup

Boil 1 quart (1 liter) water. Add 3.5 oz (100 g) flowering herb and boil for 10 minutes. Cool and steep for 12 hours before filtering. To sweeten this bitter drink, add 3 ⅓ pounds (1.5 kg) sugar, and heat until sugar has dissolved completely. This goldenrod syrup can keep well if refrigerated. As for dosage, recommended ingestion is 1 table spoon every hour.

  • To prepare infusion

In an appropriate container, count one or two table spoons of dried powdered goldenrod. Add 1 quart (1 liter) cold water, heat to boil, boil for 2 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and start drinking the herbal tea, preferably between meals.

This infusion can be drunk in case of ulcer, or applied externally in case of insect bite, wounds and skin infections.

Good to know about goldenrod

Certain Solidago species seem to boast antitumor properties. In this perspective, ongoing research is trying to invent a cure for cancer.
Goldenrod infusion is strictly discouraged for persons suffering of heart disorders, chronic renal disease or pulmonary edema.
Even though no adverse effects of drug or plant interactions have yet been reported, it is formally discouraged for pregnant and breast-feeding women, especially essential oil preparations.

Smart tip about solidago

Preparation of syrups and infusions must be performed in the cleanest possible environment and procedures.
In order to fully reap the benefits and therapeutic help of goldenrod, dosage and usage should be scrupulously respected.

If you have any doubt, refer to your consulting physician and/or pharmacist.

Images: Pixabay: Erwin Nowak
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